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We spoke about Notepad ++ being my favorite notepad replacement tool How To "Find And Replace" Words In Multiple Files How To "Find And Replace" Words In Multiple Files Read More a few days ago. I used it to search and replace some text and code in thousands of HTML files. It was great, it was free but – it left me clicking on each file I needed to modify so I could run the “Replace In All” open tabs command.

find and replace text

This was a little tedious to say the least. I was so happy with not having to manually change all the files that this did not hit me until I had opened my 1,000th file. Don’t get me wrong I got pretty good at it but this was not how I wanted to waste my time.

Enter BK ReplaceEm (if the link doesn’t work, get it from here), a free program from around the late 1990’s. It is no longer in development, the author’s website is down and the app is no longer supported BUT it still works AWESOME!

When you launch it you will see a screen that looks like this :

find and replace in excel


Don’t be intimidated. There are loads of options and this baby is super powerful. If I would have used this for my previous task, I would have saved thousands of clicks. Let’s take a look at an actual ‘find and replace’ operation. Highlight the ‘Sample Replace’ Group. Right click and choose ‘Add Files’. You will get the following window:

find and replace in files

Here is where you select what files, folders and extensions to process. The other tabs show where you want the changed files written to and where and how you want the backup files created/stored.

search and replace

I choose to leave my modified files in their original location and to create a backup of each with the .backup extension. This way I can move all of them out when I am sure I didn’t screw something up royally.

Now we are ready to hit the magic replace button on the upper left toolbar. It looks like this:

Then it will take off doing your dirty work for you and you will see a progress window like so:

If you use this program or something similar shout us out in the comments!

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